Lit Circle Selections
The Battle of Jericho
A high school junior and his cousin suffer the ramifications of joining what seems to be a "reputable" school club.
The Body of Christopher Creed
Torey Adams, a high school junior with a seemingly perfect life, struggles with doubts and questions surrounding the mysterious disappearance of the class outcast.
The Book Thief
Trying to make sense of the horrors of World War II, Death relates the story of Liesel--a young German girl whose book-stealing and story-telling talents help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding, as well as their neighbors.
While studying the Harlem Renaissance, students at a Bronx high school read aloud poems they've written, revealing their innermost thoughts and fears to their formerly clueless classmates.
After being sold to a cruel couple in New York City, a slave named Isabel spies for the rebels during the Revolutionary War.
Two fifteen-year-old girls--one a slave and the other an indentured servant--escape their Carolina plantation and try to make their way to Fort Moses, Florida, a Spanish colony that gives sanctuary to slaves.
Day of Tears
Presents an historical fiction written in first-person format that follows Emma, the slave of Pierce Butler, through a series of events in her life as her master hosts the largest slave auction in American history in Savannah, Georgia in 1859 in order to pay off his mounting gambling debts.
In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
Eighth Grade Bites
Thirteen-year-old half-vampire Vladimir Tod struggles to navigate the ups and downs of eighth grade while keeping his untested powers and impulses under control.
After fifteen-year-old Liz Hall is hit by a taxi and killed, she finds herself in a place that is both like and unlike Earth, where she must adjust to her new status and figure out how to "live."
After learning that books are a vital part of a culture he never knew, a book-burning official in a future fascist state clandestinely pursues reading until he is betrayed. Includes a 2003 introduction by the author.
The Fault in Our Stars
Sixteen year old Hazel, who has cancer, meets Augustus at a kids-with-cancer support group and as they fall in love they both wonder how they will be remembered.
In a future where most people have computer implants in their heads to control their environment, a boy meets an unusual girl who is in serious trouble.
Follows the life of a troubled teen as he is transported back and forth in time in a search for his true identity.
Ghosts of War
Ryan Smithson joined the Army Reserve when he was just out of high school. At age nineteen he was deployed to Iraq. His year in combat changed his life. This is his story. It will change the way you feel about what it means to be an American.
When an impulsive carjacking turns into a kidnapping, Griffin, a high school dropout, finds himself more in sympathy with his wealthy, blind victim, sixteen-year-old Cheyenne, than with his greedy father.
In a small town on the coast of California, everyone over the age of fourteen suddenly disappears, setting up a battle between the remaining town residents and the students from a local private school, as well as those who have "The Power" and are able to perform supernatural feats and those who do not.
The Graveyard Book
The orphan Bod, short for Nobody, is taken in by the inhabitants of a graveyard as a child of eighteen months and raised lovingly and carefully to the age of eighteen years by the community of ghosts and otherworldly creatures.
Mick Johnson works hard for a placement on the varsity team during his freshman year, and decides to use steroids in order to hold onto his edge, despite the consequences to his health and social life.
In 1973, when a renowned Canadian behavioral psychologist pursues his latest research project--an experiment to determine whether chimpanzees can acquire advanced language skills--he brings home a baby chimp named Zan and asks his thirteen-year-old son to treat Zan like a little brother.
Skeeter returns home to Mississippi from college in 1962 and begins to write stories about the African-American women that are found working in white households, which includes Aibileen, who grieves for the loss of her son while caring for her seventeenth white child, and Minny, Aibileen's sassy friend, the hired cook for a secretive woman who is new to town.
The Hot Zone
Tells the dramatic story of U.S. Army scientists and soldiers who worked to stop the outbreak of a deadly and extremely contagious virus in 1989.
The House of the Scorpion
In a future where humans despise clones, Matt enjoys special status as the young clone of El Patron, the 142-year-old leader of a corrupt drug empire nestled between Mexico and the United States.
How to Build a House
Seventeen-year-old Harper Evans hopes to escape the effects of her father's divorce on her family and friendships by volunteering her summer to build a house in a small Tennessee town devastated by a tornado.
I Am the Messenger
After capturing a bank robber, nineteen-year-old cab driver Ed Kennedy begins receiving mysterious messages that direct him to addresses where people need help, and he begins getting over his lifelong feeling of worthlessness.
Lit Circle Selections
If I Stay
While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weights whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.
During the Spanish Inquisition, sixteen-year-old Estrella, brought up a Catholic, discovers her family's true Jewish identity, and when their secret is betrayed by Estrella's best friend, the consequences are tragic.
Tris Prior survives the Erudite simulation attacks that occur during the time she expected to be celebrating her achievement of being ranked first among the initiate class of her chosen faction, Dauntless. Even though the Dauntless have been freed from Erudite mind control, a war develops and secrets emerge. (Follows Divergent, Volume 1)
Into the Beautiful North
Nineteen-year-old Nayeli becomes very aware of the lack of men in Tres Camarones after watching the movie "The Magnificent Seven" at a local theater, and comes up with a plan to travel to the U.S.--Illinois specifically--and recruit a group of men to return with her to Mexico to protect and repopulate her remote village.
Isolated from friends who believe the worst because she has not been truthful with them, sixteen-year-old Annabel finds an ally in classmate Owen, whose honesty and passion for music help her to face and share what really happened at the end-of-the-year party that changed her life.
The Kite Runner
Amir, haunted by his betrayal of Hassan, the son of his father's servant and a childhood friend, returns to Kabul as an adult after he learns Hassan has been killed, in an attempt to redeem himself by rescuing Hassan's son from a life of slavery to a Taliban official.
Life as We Knew It
Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family's struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.
Life of Pi
Pi Patel, having spent an idyllic childhood in Pondicherry, India, as the son of a zookeeper, sets off with his family at the age of sixteen to start anew in Canada, but his life takes a marvelous turn when their ship sinks in the Pacific, leaving him adrift on a raft with a 450-pound Bengal tiger for company.
A Long Way Gone
Ishmael Beah describes his experiences after he was driven from his home by war in Sierra Leone and picked up by the government army at the age of thirteen, serving as a soldier for three years before being removed from fighting by UNICEF and eventually moving to the United States.
Lord of the Flies
After a plane crash strands them on a tropical island while the rest of the world is ravaged by war, a group of British schoolboys attempts to form a civilized society but descends into brutal anarchy.
My Sister's Keeper
Thirteen-year-old Anna, conceived specifically to provide blood and bone marrow for her sister Kate who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia at the age of two, decides to sue her parents for control of her body when her mother wants her to donate a kidney to Kate.
A tsunami destroys everything leaving Mau, an island boy, Daphne, an aristocratic English girl, and a small group of refugees responsible for rebuilding their village and their lives.
The people of Sterling, New Hampshire, are forever changed after a shooting at the high school leaves ten people dead, and the judge presiding over the trial tries to remain unbiased, even though her daughter witnessed the events and was friends with the assailant.
The Hartes and the Golds, long-time neighbors and friends, are not surprised when their children Chris and Emily fall in love, but the bond between the families is placed under an enormous strain when Emily is killed, leaving behind the question of whether her death was a suicide, or murder.
Traces the journey of a father and his son as they walk alone after a great fire has consumed the nation and left everything in ashes.
In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl.
After John Blackthorne shipwrecks in Japan, he makes himself useful to a feudal lord in a power struggle with another and becomes a samurai.
A fictionalized biography that describes the life of Elisabetta, the woman who posed for Leonardo da Vinci's famous painting, the Mona Lisa.
Story of a Girl
During the summer after her sophomore year, Deanna Lambert tries to come to terms with the reputation with which she was slapped in the eighth grade when she was caught by her father in the backseat of a car with a high school senior, and struggles with her still-strained relationship with her father and her changing feelings for her best friend, Jason.
Tears of a Tiger
The death of high school basketball star Rob Washington in an automobile accident affects the lives of his close friend Andy, who was driving the car, and many others in the school.
The Tenth Circle
Comic book artist Daniel Stone, a stay-at-home dad with a fourteen-year-old daughter Trixie, and an unfaithful wife, turns a blind eye to Trixie's first broken heart and wife Laura's affair, but the feelings of rage he has buried for years come to the surface when Trixie is raped at a party and accuses her former boyfriend.
The Things They Carried
A collection of related short fiction stories with recurring characters and an interwoven plot and theme, which recreate the Vietnam War experiences of an American foot soldier.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Eight-year-old "Scout" Finch tells of life in a small Alabama town where her father is a lawyer.
Water for Elephants
Ninety-year-old Jacob Jankowski finds himself haunted by memories of his past in the circus and the freaks, exotic animals, and other people he encountered as a performer.
What Happened to Cass Mcbride?
After his younger brother commits suicide, Kyle Kirby decides to exact revenge on the person he holds responsible.
In-Depth Book Reviews & Descriptions